Tuesday, February 28, 2012
GALAXY: Toronto leg a virtual sellout
By Scott French
The Galaxy heads to Toronto next week for the first leg of the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals, and they can expect to face a rabid crowd.
Toronto FC has announced all single seats have been sold for the March 7 match -- 43,500 in all -- and all that's left are “a limited number of suites,” starting at $1,600 Canadian.
The game was moved from TFC's west-of-downtown home ground, BMO Field, to Rogers Centre (the former SkyDome) for weather concerns -- Rogers has a retractable roof -- but the real coup has come with the ticket sales. The Reds are popular in Canada's biggest city: They have sold out most of their matches at 21,140-capacity BMO.
“We’ve had phenomenal momentum since [tickets went on sale] in mid-January, and we can tell from the response that Toronto FC supporters and soccer fans are excited about this match,” Paul Beirne, TFC's senior director of business operations, said in a statement. “This is the most important match in Toronto FC’s short history and we’re looking forward to seeing a sea of red on March 7.”
The Galaxy lured the largest crowd in TFC history, last April, when 22,453 exceeded BMO's capacity.
The second leg, March 14 at Home Depot Center, will have a far different atmosphere. Attendance has been capped at 7,500 because on an agreement the stadium has with Cal State Dominguez Hills about events on school nights.
The winner of the home-and-home series will meet the Seattle Sounders or Mexico's Santos Laguna in the semifinals in late March and early April. The final will be played April 17-19 and 24-26, with the champion advancing to the FIFA Club World Cup on Dec. 6-16 in Japan.